Dry needling involves inserting an acupuncture needle into a trigger point. A trigger point consists of multiple contractions within a muscle belly forming a knot. They are often tender and feel painful when pressed or squeezed. These trigger points are related to the production and maintenance of the pain cycle.
Dry needling can be used for a variety of musculoskeletal problems. Conditions which respond to dry needling include headaches, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, golfer’s elbow, leg pain, hamstring strain, shin splints, muscle spasms, hip pain, knee pain etc.
Th exact mechanism to how dry needling works is not known but there are mechanical and biomechanics effects. Some studies have suggested that inserting a needle into trigger points can cause favourable biochemical changes which assist in reducing pain.
Generally, needle insertion is not felt, the local twitch response may provoke a very brief pain response. This has been described as an electric shock or a cramping sensation. During treatment, patients commonly experience heaviness in the limbs or and/or a sensation of relaxation. Personally, in the past when I have had this treatment, it has never been painful — Tom